Louis Joseph Inferrera
Private First Class
K CO, 3RD BN, 9TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV, III MAF
United States Marine Corps
Vineland, New Jersey
January 01, 1949 to May 20, 1967
LOUIS J INFERRERA is on the Wall at Panel 20E, Line 61

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Louis J Inferrera
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The picture I sent of HM2 Bruce Manton was taken from a Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division (Kilo 3/9/3) platoon photo that I have. I have all my brother marines' photos done the same way. I served in Kilo 3/9/3. His name is on the Kilo 3/9 honor Roll and is one of my fallen brothers. I had that picture in my "Kilo folder". We, the brothers of kilo, have been sending them to several sites in memory of our brothers.

-- Robert Chiominto, LCPL, Kilo Co, March 1967 to April 1968, 09/24/2012

From the earliest days of major US involvement in Vietnam the North Vietnamese had taken free use of the Demilitarized Zone for granted, believing that political considerations would prevent American ground operations within the DMZ. And they were right for almost two years - until May 1967.

On 18 May 1967 the Marines began OPERATION HICKORY with the mission of "removing enemy forces and installations from the southern half of the DMZ". Led by the 9th Marines, HICKORY was the first major incursion into the DMZ. The Allied attack was supported by a massive Navy-Marine-Air Force effort, the landing of SLFs Alpha and Bravo, and a parallel sweep by the 1st ARVN Division - all headed into the DMZ. Read all the details of Operation Hickory Battles here

Operation Hickory took the NVA by complete surprise. Although the operation lasted only ten days, a half a dozen enemy battalions were caught off-guard south of the DMZ. At least 815 of the enemy were dead; 445 killed by the Marines, 370 by the ARVN. The NVA had been given notice that the southern half of the DMZ would no longer be a sanctuary, their command and control arrangements had been disrupted, they had lost much in supplies and ammunition, and their fortifications had been dismantled.

The operation was far from easy, though; the Marines lost at least 129 men:

  • 2/9 Marines: 23 men
  • 3/9 Marines: 40 men
  • 2/26 Marines: 28 men
  • 1/3 Marines: 20 men
  • 2/3 Marines: 18 men

On 20 May, Company K, point for the battalion, made contact with what it initially estimated to be an enemy platoon deployed in mutually supporting bunkers in a draw in vicinity of grid coordinates YD 104644. The enemy, now estimated to be at least a company, took Company K under fire. To relieve pressure on Company K, Company L maneuvered to the flank of the enemy position, but was unable to link up with Company K because of heavy enemy fire. The enemy had sprung a well concealed ambush, using machine guns, grenades, and 60 mm mortars. Companies K and L were concentrated on high ground but still on the sides of a draw and receiving intense enemy fire. Air Strikes were called. Both companies spent the night on opposite sides of the draw with the enemy force between them, while supporting arms pounded the enemy positions all night.

Killed were 25 sailors and Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines in heavy fighting on 20 May 1967. Those killed during the contact were:

-- The Virtual Wall


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